Minding My Miracles

~ and finding new mercies every morning

Archive for the month “August, 2011”

The price of procrastination

Dear Ones –

I am a procrastinator.  There, I’ve said.  But it’s not totally accurate.  I am becoming a reformed procrastinator.  As a mom I just don’t have the luxury of procrastination.  Well, I can, but things do tend to fall apart when mom puts too many things off.

The only area I can really get away with it is regarding things that have to do with me.    But I am here to tell you this morning that as a mom we should NOT be procrastinating on ourselves.  In fact, as a person we should not procrastinate on the things we need.  We all function better when we are well taken care of.  We are more patient generous people.

So, the big question is, why don’t we take care of ourselves?  My current example…yesterday for (and I have to say that I am ashamed to admit this) the first time in years I went to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned.  This was NOT a fun experience.  I have lingual braces cemented on my bottom front teeth.  They were covered in tarter…YUCK.  So, I was poked and prodded and my teeth were scraped and scraped and scraped.  And today I still hurt.  Which clearly says to me that I am paying a big price for my procrastination.  The price of pain.  Needless to say, my next teeth cleaning is already scheduled for 6 months from now.  And why hadn’t I faced this particular area?  Simply because I kept putting it off.  I had insurance to cover it.  I had time.  I just put it off.  Maybe because of fear of what they would find.  Maybe because after you put things off so long you feel ashamed and don’t want to face it.  For me it was a multitude of reasons like that.

Certainly there are other things I have been putting off.  And today I am making a list of those things.  I need to know where I am going to have to “Cowboy Up” and face some more pain.  But oh, the excitement in thinking about being on the other side.   Maybe I will be sharing with you some other areas I have been procrastinating on and the price I’ve had to pay because of it.  In the meantime, it would be oh-so-helpful in my pain to have you share areas you either need to conquer or have already moved past.  Nobody likes being alone.

Here are a few basic things just on the top of my head to do.  Are any of them on your list?
Make appointments
Return or Renew library books
Put the kids clean clothes from vacation away
Pack books for move
Go grocery shopping
Make a few phone calls to catch up with people I haven’t talked to in a while

Matthew 6:33-34 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

I refuse to get stressed about the things I have procrastinated on.  I am going to allow these things to become a praise to my Maker as I accomplish them.  I will do what I can do today because He has made me more than able.  In trusting and seeking Him I will find the time, strength and energy to see it through.  May you find yourself in this place to.  May your doing be praises to Him.

Miraculously Blessed,

Jessica

Date Night

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Dear Ones –
It’s Monday again.  How do you look at your Monday’s? Is it your mundane day.  The day you go back to work.  The day that comes after a weekend filled with fun or accomplishing a ton.  And now you are back to the same old, same old.  This is not the day one usually looks forward to.
But I want to ask you to try something else.  Try making Mondays something exciting.  Perhaps it’s the day you make a special dinner.  Or perhaps it’s the day you take one of your kids out for a special kid and parent fun night at the video arcade.  Maybe just maybe you get a babysitter and make some Monday your date night.  Sure it isn’t the usual late night extravaganza that you’re accustomed to, but there is a lot to be said for an early date night.  Maybe a matinée movie or a dinner that isn’t fast food surrounded by a ton of people all rushing, rushing, rushing.  Perhaps you picnic in the park.  Perhaps you just go on a drive together.
Mondays can be exciting.  You can look forward to them.  Just like I have been tonight.  Cause you know it’s time to go on a date with your hubbub when your kids are begging you to ‘please go on a date Mommy & Daddy’.  So I’ll leave you with that as I join the love of my life on our early date Monday night.
Miraculously Blessed,
Jessica

Take Heart

 

Dear Ones –

But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

Miraculously Blessed,

Jessica

Vacation Blessings pt. 3

Dear Ones –

Getting settled back into our routine although for me fall is like spring and I always want to start something new.  More to come on all the new things in our life soon.  My delightful children seem to be growing by leaps and bounds.  I think the boys grew up while on vacation and I am beginning to wonder what happened to my little boys.

Today’s vacation blessing is to revel in the blend of the excitement of surprise and the comfort of the familiar.  As you know we kept the news of baby #3 a secret from all of our home family and friends.  With delight (and the frustration of keeping a secret) we counted the days to our arrival.  The drive took much longer than planned and it was very late as we neared Hub’s parents house.  We pulled off in a parking lot and changed the boys shirts into the special “Big Brother” shirts we had picked up for this very moment.  And then we were there.  In we came and the grandparents pretty much only had eyes for their beautiful grandsons…  I crashed onto the couch and stretched out.  The boys started to laugh and play delighted to be a Grup & Gyg’s house.  But the shirts did not seem to be conveying their message.  So, after a half hour I signaled my beloved to say something.  “What do you think of the boy’s shirts Mom?” he asked.  And with that the news and laughter and delight poured out.  We excitedly shared all news including sharing with them the other secret we held…that this baby was another precious boy.  Fortunately Grandpa and Grandma reacted as we thought they would and not as others feared they might.  In fact the words “Yay, less time to wait.”  were definitely heard.

And after that we got to have fun sharing the news with all the rest of our family and friends.  It felt so good to tell people.  I told that man of mine that we will never hold a secret like this one so long again.  And at one of the family gatherings we were delighted to discover that not only are two of my other cousins pregnant, but we got the surprise of another cousin who is.  So there will be 4 additional babies joining our happy clan in the next few months.  It’s so delightful.  Babies are such a strong reminder of the life miracle our Heavenly Father gives to us.

Much of our trip was go, go, go, go and that kind of go-ing can really do a body in…especially a pregnant body.  So on our final morning when the littlest man awoke all bright and shiny I spirited him out of the house for a long walk on Mama’s home turf to let Daddy have a good sleep in.  We delighted in the quiet morning air listening to the birds chirp and breathing in the fresh air.  As we walked we noticed how many people in our home town had fire pits in their back yards.  Which in my mind brings up images of being outside hanging out together or sitting quietly by the fire absorbing the peace of being electronics free or just opening yourself up to dream and hear the Voice that speaks loudest in the stillness.  Along the sidewalks I noticed how grass and other small plants grow most comfortably in many of the cracks.  What some might see as a nuisance I saw as beauty.  It added to the peaceful nature of the morning.  Here and there a dog barked and we even ran into another walker who joined us for a block or two and let us in on her story.

I hope these few glimpses into our vacation reveal to you the picture I am trying to paint, but just in case…  Life is too short to be stuck in stagnant.  Take advantage of each moment you have.  Revel in creating a surprise or allow yourself to be delighted when you receive one.  Take time to look at the simple things around you differently.  Allow the beauty of green growing through the cracks of life to reveal to you the miracle that you aren’t alone.  God is moving heaven and earth to speak to you today.  Sometimes He speaks by surprising you with His passionate love and sometimes He speaks in the quiet, comfortable moment that He made just for you.  The blessing I found in this vacation was that I was able to see Him in it ALL.  He was with me for every moment and that made each moment MORE.

I challenge you to be open today and everyday to the MORE of life.  The truth that is hidden in the MORE is the truth that will allow you to be all that you are.  Take your eyes off of the mundane and open them to really see.  There is more waiting to be discovered there than you can ever imagine.  May you be surprised in the comfortableness of the familiar.

Miraculously Blessed –

Jessica

Vacation Blessings pt. 2

Dear Ones –

I think I am finally caught up on sleep and ready to hit the road running.  Grocery shopping, the zoo and the park are all falling on our agenda this week.  Laundry is all done and pretty much all put away.  I’ve even caught up on some  of the blogs I am behind on reading.  Good stuff has been going on in the blog world over the past two weeks.  I miss reading all my “friends” when I get behind.   Does this ever happen to you?

Now on to Vacation Blessing #2…  Real Communication.  Do you ever get so caught up in your life that you forget to discover what’s going on in the world around you?  Has it been so ling since you talk to that aunt that has all the family news that you just don’t know what is going on in the family anymore?  Or have you made plans and forgotten to tell your spouse all the details?  Have you asked your family what  they would like to do with some extra free time?

Or maybe you’ve been trying to accomplish a bunch of stuff in a limited amount of time and although you need help, you don’t share that and just get angry because you have to do everything yourself.  Suddenly, time is running out and instead of peace your body is filled with stress.  So not the way to live.

I LOVE communication and am usually pretty good at it.  I like to plan things and I like to see everything fall into line.  On this vacation I planned a lot.  When things came up with Beth I felt a little out of my element.  My “plan” wasn’t exactly going according to plan.  There were several moments where I lost it with my man and regretted it.  Instead of communicating with him what I needed to find a place of balance, I just blew up at him.  It was ugly and NOT how I want to be.  God offers us a peace beyond what circumstances offer.  We have the opportunity to be filled to overflowing with joy regardless of whether we are in “control” of everything that goes on or not.  All it takes it us communicating with God and asking Him for what we cannot do for ourselves.  He is willing and able to provide for us.

One of the great things about going “home” on vacation is that we get to see all the family and friends that we miss so much.  It’s amazing with phone calls, texts, e-mails, Facebook and other forms of social media how different it is talking to someone in person.  You really understand someone when you actually see them.  There is more laughter, more honesty and things flow easier.  There is nothing like a hug that cradles you when you are hurting or tears dripping down your face when you do something stupid that makes you laugh so hard you almost pee your pants.  These are things a phone call just cannot convey quite all the way.  But then there’s another thing and that’s when you haven’t even used one of the long distance forms of communication to learn about someone.

While we were home we saw so many people we haven’t seen in around 2 years or more.  Pure craziness…pure and wonderful.  Thing is with some of them I didn’t know enough about what goes on in their lives to have a real conversation about anything.  It helped that I had a surprise pregnancy to bring to the table, but then the conversation had opportunity to become all about me.  And that was certainly NOT what I wanted.  Real, true, honest conversation comes when there is sharing.

Being with all these wonderful people made me long to know more about them.  It made me wish I was better at long distance communicating.  And it made me come up with ideas on how to change.  Let’s just say for now that I have a few ideas boiling on the stove.  I’d love to hear if you have any suggestions on how to improve in this area.

And so today’s challenge is getting to a place where you can commune.  A place where you can be open, honest and a place where you can discover.  Forget that time has passed and reach out to someone you haven’t talked with in a long time.  Open yourself up to let others know you.  Take some time to commune with God.  Find true communication in the time that you put into communing.   Discover how wonderful those around you and distant from you are.  It can only be done when you are being real with each other and that can only be done when you put time into the discovery.  It’s work, but oh what wonderful work.

And so, if you know me personally you might just find your phone begin to ring or a knock on your door or a simple text asking how you are.  And when I ask…I really mean it.  I want to get to know YOU all over again.  Let’s commune and in that let’s find the blessing of Real Communication.

Here are some quick shots I took on my phone during our trip.  Enjoy!

      

Miraculously Blessed –

Jessica

Vacation Blessings pt. 1

Dear Ones –

We returned from our trip home 4 days ago.  Since then I have done pretty much nothing.  Okay, I take that back.  I did 3 loads of laundry (but still have mine to do) and eaten and laid around.  I had great plans to be all unpacked and everything cleaned up, but I did not realize how drained I actually was.

This trip was unlike any other I have ever had home.  The biggest thing that happened was that I got to see my cousin Beth one last time before she went to live with Jesus and be totally well.  It was such a wonderful blessing.  I got to experience her humor and love.  I got to hold her hand and feel her squeeze me back.  Before we left for home Jesus came to get her and I was blessed to spend a day with many of my extended family just feeling her lasting love together.

Amazing how losing someone on this earth really makes you think on the blessings of those you love and have still.  It makes you recognize where you may have taken some for granted and reignites the desire for renewed relationship.  I am thinking in new and fresh ways about things that don’t matter anymore and how to really treasure the things/people that do.

So, Vacation Blessing Number One was to recognize value.  I would like to encourage you to make a list (written, mental, whatever works for you) with three things you have put value on that don’t have real value and three things/people that you have not had enough value for.  Then add three things you are going to do to change.  Maybe it is call up a friend and tell them how special they are.  Maybe it is squeeze your kids a little tighter a couple of extra times today.  Maybe it’s send your mom or dad a card and relate one special childhood memory that you hold onto.  Maybe it’s talk to that cousin you haven’t talked to in six months.  I have no idea what you might want to do.  Just try something.  Find value in your life and hold onto it.  We never know how long we have to revel in true treasure.  People and things can be gone in an instant.  My prayer for you today is that you have the opportunity to hold close all that you can and have no regrets when it or they are gone.

Check in later this week for Vacation Blessing Number Two.

Miraculously Blessed –

Jessica

Thanks for joining me…

Dear Ones –

I had a pretty good thing going with my last blog (The Saving Mom Parents), but I realized that it was time for a change.  I’ve changed since I started writing that.  It doesn’t quite fit me anymore.  It’s not that I’m not a saving mom anymore.  In many ways I am saving even more.  It’s not that I’m not parenting anymore.  That job just keeps growing and growing.  It’s that I’ve expanded who I am and that mold just can’t contain me anymore.

And so after much consideration I realized that my life is a miracle filled one and that’s how I want to be presented.  If you followed me in the past you know that two of my biggest miracles are my beautiful sons.  In my view children really do bring fulfillment into one’s life.  I’ve written on it a bit before and just want to share on it a bit now.

My husband and I came to the understanding that Psalm 127:3 is a motto for our lives. (Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift? the fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you; you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep.)  We used to make our own decisions on the how and when of children for our lives, but when our first was born there was an enlightenment that hit us like never before.  We decided that this decision was not ours to make any more, but that we had to leave it in the hands of the Ultimate Creator.  And when He chooses to give us another miraculous blessing we would welcome them with open arms.  For us, it was coming to a place of trusting Him completely and this was an area we were holding back on and NEEDED to surrender to Him.  So, someday this could mean we are those “weirdo’s” down the block with multitudes of children (natural or adopted) spilling out of their home or it could mean that we have what we have and that’s it.  Either way, it is up to Him and the peace we have been given with this decision is amazing.

Although I am writing this post August 1st, when you read it, it will be about 2 weeks from now and my family and I will be living it up in Wisconsin.  Haha, I don’t know if you can “live it up” in Wisconsin, but you can certainly enjoy spending each and every moment with friends and family that you miss with all your heart.  And that is what we are doing…just taking it easy and enjoying the heart to hearts.  And we are also sharing a secret we’ve been keeping since the beginning of April.  You see, we knew we were going home and seeing Hubs parents and we thought to ourselves…what would be more fun than showing up and saying “We’re getting another miracle!”  (Let you know how it goes over…)  It has been so hard to hide our joy.  Even the neighbors haven’t discovered our secret as I have been wearing a big purse and carrying large bags every time I’m in view.  (I felt kind of like Phylicia Rashad when she was hiding her pregnancies on The Cosby Show.)

So, today I share our wonderful, amazing secret with you.  Please pray with us and welcome with us this December a new miracle into our lives.  We are truly blessed.

And I would love it if you would continue to join me on the adventure of minding my miracles and share your’s with me too.  My goal is to really open up and be vulnerable with you.  Soon I will be sharing why I chose this title and some important topics I want to cover.  Excited to get started.  Blessed to have you with me.

Miraculously Blessed,
~Jessica

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